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Youth Month: Diligent work earns youth three promotions

Youth Month: Diligent work earns youth three promotions

Pretty Nobuhle Sibanyoni is a testament to how The Aurum Institute’s affiliate Youth Health Africa, is bringing the South African Youth Month theme: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society, to life.

In just two years, Sibanyoni has been promoted three times and currently holds the position of Project Officer.

The 23-year-old says she has always felt destined for a career helping others. But when her ambition to become a teacher was dashed, she did not give up and signed up for Aurum’s youth empowerment programme which later became Youth Health Africa (YHA).

“I started as a data capturer, and just two months later, I was approached by the YHA management team to become a Work Readiness Training facilitator for newly onboarded youth. I felt so much pressure, being a young person on the programme responsible for training my peers. I was only 20 years old. I would like to think my position motivated others to work diligently and get noticed,” said Sibanyoni.

With YHA’s national footprint, Sibanyoni travelled around the country, training young people to make a difference in their communities. “It has been a wonderful experience, I will forever be grateful. Although I was a trainer, it was a learning opportunity for me as well,” she said.

Key partnerships

She continued assisting the training team when she was promoted to Partner Lead before taking up her current position as Project Officer. In this role, she is responsible for building key partnerships for YHA with external stakeholders. “I am thankful for the trust that was placed in me to carry out such a responsibility. I believe it was hard work paying off and it’s just the beginning. I still have a lot to contribute towards the success of the organisation, the team, and most importantly, the youth of South Africa,” said Sibanyoni.

The Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2021 shows that the youth unemployment rate is at 46.3%. YHA places hundreds of unemployed youth for work experience through their one-year Skills Development Programme. Their aim is for young people to be employable, empowered, and healthy.

Goal-driven women

Sibanyoni credits YHA for creating an enabling environment for young people to build on their abilities and develop new skills. A bonus is a management team of mainly women. “Working with such goal-driven women on a team which always pushes one another to be better versions of themselves, has been an amazing journey.”

YHA Project Sarah Reeves said she looks forward to ensuring more young people can access leadership positions in the NGO sector.